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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Holiday Makers Warned over Scams Abroad

Press release: 18/02/2009

Holidaymakers are being warned to take precautions this summer as it emerges that one in ten British tourists have been the victim of holiday 'scams' in the past two years.

According to findings commissioned by travel insurer LV =, cons such as shopkeepers hiking prices when they see tourists coming, timeshare fraudsters and taxis taking the scenic route are rife across European resorts, with a fifth (21%) of British tourists targeted during the last five years.

The research undertaken by YouGov on behalf of LV= reveals that the true scale of holiday cons is vastly underestimated by the local authorities with only one in ten (10%) holidaymakers reporting scams to the police.

Holidaymakers interviewed in the research said the average cost to them of being successfully 'scammed' was £250.

Brits are most likely to fall victim to conmen in Spain, with one in ten of victims targeted in a Spanish resort. Tenerife (7%), Turkey (4%) and Paris (4%) were also singled out by holidaymakers.

The findings show holidaying couples are twice as likely to be targeted by a scammer than other holidaymakers (43%), while independent travellers make up one in five (18%) con victims.

LV= is today calling on holidaymakers to help discourage scammers by reporting them to the police, and is offering advice on how to avoid con merchants whilst abroad.


LV= top tips on avoiding becoming a victim of a conman:

  • Ask in your hotel for the name of reputable tour operators. Many hotels will be able to organise trips on your behalf.

  • Get a receipt if you put a deposit on any item and ensure it carries details of the store name and address.

  • If you buy something that needs to be shipped back, ensure you get postal documentation before you leave.

  • If you do end up in a taxi taking the long way round back to your hotel, when you arrive go into reception and ask for their help in negotiating before paying.

  • Don't buy 'designer' items from anywhere but a designer shop.

  • If you feel like you are being pressured in a market, walk away and do not be tempted just to pay up.

  • If you are paying with a credit or debit card, do not let the store or restaurant owner take it out of your sight.

  • If you are hiring a car, go to a reputable company that you recognise the name of or ask in your hotel for a good local company.

  • Don't drop your guard just because you're on holiday - protect your safety and personal information in the same way you would at home.

  • Ensure you have travel insurance in place, so if the worst happens and you are a victim of crime, you do not end up out of pocket.


Emma Holyer, Spokesperson for LV= travel insurance, commented: "The cold days of winter will spur many of us to start planning our holidays, but with one in ten holidaymakers falling victim to scams abroad in the past two years its clear there is an industry worth billions based on ripping them off. Not only can cons cost money but they can ruin a trip, so we are offering advice on steps to take to avoid ending up out of pocket or on a tour that you don't want to be."


Jess Prasad, from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's 'Know Before You Go' campaign, added: "Being prepared before you go abroad will lessen the risk of you being scammed. Read up on your destination as much as possible before you travel at www.fco.gov.uk/travel. If you are a victim of crime, report it immediately to the local police – and get a police report in case you need to make an insurance claim."


For more information, log on to www.lv.com or visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel for detailed advice on travel to every country. Or contact Emma Holyer, LV=, 020 8256 6714 / 07894 158 605



About the Know Before You Go campaign

The FCO's ongoing Know Before You Go campaign encourages British nationals to prepare for their foreign travel so they can avoid preventable problems. The campaign targets a number of audiences, from gap year students to package holidaymakers; sports fans to older travellers and people visiting friends and family abroad. The campaign works with nearly 300 travel industry partners to communicate its messages. For more information please visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel


About LV=

  • LV= offers car, home, travel and pet insurance direct to consumers by telephone from its UK call centres in Bournemouth and Croydon and online from its website: www.lv.com

  • LV= insures over 1.6 million vehicles and 470,000 households in the UK.

  • LV= has been awarded the Defaqto five star rating for home insurance and car insurance.

  • LV= is a trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and LV= is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

  • All research unless otherwise stated undertaken by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2185 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 28th January 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

LV=

  • LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and LV= is a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. The new LV= brand identity was launched in March 2007.

  • LV= employs more than 3,700 people, serves more than 3.6 million customers and members, and manages around £7 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK's largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Year Book 2006/2007, Total Net Assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

  • Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and entered on the Financial Services Authority Regiser No. 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.